Beekeeping for Beginners - Hive Box and Hive Tool

Beekeeping for Beginners: 6 Things You Should Consider

Beekeeping is one of the most rewarding hobbies a person can have. You're not only learning a vital skill, you're also helping to keep our honey bee population thriving. However, backyard beekeeping can seem a little daunting for someone who is just starting out. Beekeeping for beginners can be intimidating but it doesn't have to be. If you're considering adding some honey bee friends to your backyard, here are 5 things you should do before you dive right into the beekeeping world.

1. Read and read some more.

I know this may seem very obvious for anyone learning a skill, but this is a very important one. Before you get your first beehive, you should understand the basics of honey bee behavior and beekeeping. Learn about the way honey bees communicate with each other and what they need to thrive. We have a blog post on our favorite beekeeping books that really helped us learn about bees.

2. Join your local beekeeping group.

Every county should have their own beekeeping association. Some may even have more than one! Join a local group where you can meet other beekeepers and learn about what is going on with honey bees in your area. The local aspect of this group is key because every city and state will experience different challenges depending on what type of pests and environment are in your area.

3. Prep your yard for your new friends.

Honey bees thrive in a sunny area facing South or Southeast. Make sure you have a section of your yard that will give them plenty of space away from your home and/or pets. In the afternoon, honey bees will begin to make their way back to the hive from foraging. At around the same time, the younger bees will take their orientation flights to figure out the exact location of their hive before foraging. This creates a lot of traffic around the hives. These are all things you should consider when finding a place for your bees.

4. Start buying your gear.

Purchase some beekeeping essentials, like your bee suit or jacket, a hive tool, and smoker. Familiarize yourself with how to use each tool and what are the best methods to use each one. You can also start looking into what type of beehive will work best for you. We recommend starting with the popular langstroth hive since it is fairly basic and will help you learn about spacing and layout of a beehive. If you can afford it and you're interested in taking an easier approach to honey harvesting, you should consider the flow hive. It makes it easy to extract honey without bothering the bees too much. However, there are many more affordable options that are just as easy to use. I've never used the FlowHive but it is a popular option.

5. Consider your bee options.

There are many different races of Western Honey Bee, Apis Mellifera, and each have their own characteristics. Learn about them and figure out which would be the best fit for your. No bee is better than the other as each one as pros and cons. However, the best type of bee is a local bee. You should find a queen breeder near you who sells package bees and nucs. This is important because a beehive coming from Michigan may not survive the blistering heat and humidity in South Florida.

6. Don't bee afraid to make mistakes.

There's a saying that goes ask 5 beekeepers the same question and you'll get 6 different answers. This couldn't be truer! Every beekeeper works their bees differently and we are still learning so much about the honey bee world. Don't be afraid to do things differently and experiment. Also, it's important to note that many first year beekeepers lose hives. This is completely normal and please do not let it discourage you. Mistakes are just lessons learned.

Beekeeping For Beginners is a lot of fun!

Beekeeping for beginners should not be something that discourages people from pursuing this hobby. Learning a new skill takes time and effort, however, if you take the proper steps, beekeeping for beginners is a lot of fun! If you're interested in learning more about beekeeping for beginners, we're coming out with an eBook soon that breaks down all the basics for beekeeping. Make sure to sign up for our email list to be notified as soon as it's available.

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